We all know it, but do we all do it? Taking care of our oral health is a habit that pays to keep on top of, but some shirk at the thought of dentists and drills that inevitably go with it. The good news is there’s nothing to fear from proper oral health care. Here are the top 10 tips for dealing with your oral health, pain free.
1. Learn to brush and floss correctly
It seems basic, but you might be brushing your teeth in a way that is inconsistent with practitioner guidelines! Always brush in small circles and don’t neglect brushing the backs of your teeth. Always use a soft brush – these will allow you to gently strengthen your gums and resist damaging the soft tissues of your mouth. Flossing aids in this, cleaning what a toothbrush can’t by removing plaque from between your teeth and massaging gums.
2. Don’t forget your tongue!
Brushing your tongue assists in removing a build up of bacteria in your mouth and can reduce bad breath. Using a regular soft toothbrush and a drop of toothpaste will suffice.
3. Brush every day
If you wouldn’t go a day without washing your hands, then you shouldn’t go a day without brushing your teeth. Dental practitioners recommend brushing a minimum of twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing regularly after meals and before bed reduces your likelihood of developing gum disease and tooth decay.
4. Develop a healthy diet
A healthy diet is at the centre of oral care. Excessive consumption of sugar and highly acidic foods, like soft drinks, alters the pH levels of your mouth and wears away at tooth enamel, causing decay over time. Conversely, a moderate intake of calcium-rich foods supports bone and tooth strength.
5. Drink more water
Unsurprisingly, keeping hydrated is essential for your health, and that includes the health of your mouth. Fluoride in tap water helps keep your teeth clean, so don’t skimp on a glass of water with your meals.
6. Learn to recognise common oral health problems…
Oral health issues can arise from time to time even in otherwise healthy people, so it’s important to be able to recognise the symptoms and know how to respond. Problems like gingivitis are common and can develop from improper brushing techniques. Aim to spot these problems and adjust your habits in consultation with a professional.
7. …And learn to recognise an oral health emergency
Swelling of the mouth, tooth infection, tooth injury, and unstoppable bleeding are all in need of immediate medical attention. Know when to consult your dental health professional and don’t allow large problems to fester.
8. Make regular appointments
We hear it all the time – regular dental check ups are vital for our general oral health. However, last year, less than half of Australians over the age of 18 engaged in recommended regular dental check ups with a known professional. Check ups are important not just for those with consistent oral health problems. They are crucial for recognising unusual developments in your oral health and for keeping you connected with a practitioner who can give you advice that is tailored to your individual needs and lifestyle.
9. Select a renowned professional
Know what services are in your area and aim to foster a relationship between you and your chosen practitioner. Regular professional expertise will be invaluable to your oral health care in the long term.